This week marks my official 10 years out of high school. Now, before I get the comments of, “Oh, you’re so young…” blahblahblah, I’m not saying I’m old. I’m merely saying – I can’t believe how FAST those 10 years went by! I am by no means lamenting the fact that it’s been 10 years; I’m just stating it.
I really do feel like these 10 years have flown by. Each year has held something totally different and unexpected. God has done some amazing things in my life. I wish so badly to be able to go back and redo my valedictorian speech. I was so convinced that the plans I had in June 2001 were the plans that would be – hands down, no option of change. Within two months, everything changed, and thus, all the big plans I’d made for myself went out the window. Ever since, nothing I have ever planned has turned out exactly how I planned it. Journey with me back in time and see what I mean…
- I planned to go to New Brunswick Bible Institute. I went to Parole de Vie Bethel, in Sherbrooke, Quebec, and studied French and Bible.
- I planned to go to Philadelphia Biblical University (known them as Philadelphia Bible College). I went to New Tribes Bible Institute in Waukesha, Wisconsin.
- I planned on living in Peru for a summer between years of college. I worked at Grace to You Canada (John MacArthur’s foundation) for one summer and the other summer, I was too sick to work.
- I planned on being single until I was at least 25, living on my own, working a full-time job, and owning a basset hound. I got married at 21 and have never lived on my own. I did, however, work plenty of full-time jobs. I would still like the basset hound.
- I planned on living near my family and having kids soon after getting married. I moved 24hrs from my family and didn’t have kids for 5 years.
- I planned on going on the mission field… in country. I went on the mission field… overseas.
- I planned on having a super easy childbirth and being anxious to do it again. I had an emergency c-section, a horrible awful no-good very bad experience, and am just now thinking that I might, possibly, maybe, in another year or so be able to do it again IF a bunch of things can be different.
- I planned on being a published author. Now, I am pretty sure that’s never going to happen. Anybody bored and want to read an amateur novel? I’d even let you pay me. 😉
Looking at that list, I’m not upset or disappointed, though. Pretty much nothing went as planned. Still nothing goes as planned!
Looking back at that list, though, makes me go, “Why would I want it to go as planned? How boring would that be?!”
Because nothing went as planned:
- I learned to speak French — which enabled me to pick up Spanish without lessons.
- I made some of the closest friends in Bible school — that I still have.
- I met my amazing husband who fulfilled all my wildest dreams.
- I got to live in South Dakota — which, deep down, I’d always wanted to live “out west” in “cowboy country.”
- I now live in South America — and speak Spanish! I always wanted to learn how to speak Spanish; now I speak 3 languages (although, admittedly, French is swiftly disappearing from my repetoire).
- I have a beautiful baby girl — and because of what I went through, I can now coach my friends who have had c-sections (planned or not) into how to plan, cope and recoup from them (things I wish I’d had more of).
Maybe someday I’ll learn, for real, that God always has His best in mind for me. I am very happy with my abnormal life. I love my family. I love my job. I love where I live. There is very little that I truly, truly miss from back in the States (that is not family). I’m glad I went to the schools I did. I’m glad I moved out of Vermont in the fall of 2001 and never moved back. I’m also glad my sister lives there because otherwise, I’m pretty sure I’d have a tough time finding reasons to visit! I’m thankful for all the moves I’ve made in my life (at least one every year from ’01-’09) because they’ve always moved me on to something better and unexpected (and, seriously, I am one heck of a packer).
Without all these life experiences in the last 10 years, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have the relationship with God that I have now. Sometimes…hmm… I’d daresay most of the time… you need to get moved out of your comfort zone, go through stuff that sucks and hurts, and experience the brand new in order to grow your relationship with God.
So, cheers to the next 10 years! Who knows where those years will take my family and I? Maybe in the next 10 I’ll finally get published.
Then again, maybe not.
*I wish I could post a picture of myself and all 4 of my graduating companions, but those pics are old enough they aren’t digital, so I don’t have any in South America with me. Just picture me… a lot younger, with shorter – wayyy blonder– hair, and about 40lbs thinner. I was “valedictorian” of a whopping 5 people at a small Christian school that no longer exists in northeast Vermont. I am not 100% sure what the other 4 are doing, but here’s my closest guesses:
Jen, the only other girl, married a man from Peru (they met on our senior class trip to here in 2001) and has 2 little boys. They live in New Hampshire. Her husband is an EMT and volunteer fireman. She’s a stay-at-home mom, home schooling her oldest boy and her youngest sister. Her mother passed away unexpectedly this year so she is taking on the role of mom to her sister as well. I stay in touch with her, so I know what she’s doing! 🙂
Tim, one of my closest friends in high school, lives in South Carolina with his wife and little boy who was born in April of last year. He’s a graduate of Bob Jones University and, last I heard, works as a graphic designer for Home Depot. His wife is a math teacher.
Chad, as far as I know, never finished college. I know he works in New Hampshire, but I’m not sure doing what. I think it’s something to do with a newspaper or magazine. He was also very artistic and musical; not sure what he’s up to, to be honest.
Chris is the only one that really fell away from everything we were raised to know and believe. His parents got divorced shortly after high school and I think that really influenced his life choices. He inherited quite a bit of money from a relative that passed away and so he purchased a house and a bunch of cars and rented some property out and I’m not sure what all. He’s had a few live-in girlfriends, but hasn’t gotten married. He worked for a long time laying carpet, but I think he’s a cook now (which doesn’t surprise me). He always wanted to make it with his band, but they never got farther than playing at a few local shows and getting on the radio (as far as I know). He admits he drinks too much and if Facebook tells the truth, I’m pretty sure he still thinks life is a party.
*I went to Kindergarten with everyone but Chad. Chad, Chris, and Tim were all home schooled for a few years at one point, but then came back to the Christian school and we did all of high school together. Jen and I didn’t always get along, but sometime in high school, the 5 of us came together as a group and by the time we graduated, we did everything together. I came the closest to dating Chris. We even talked about it, but decided not to. Tim and I were best friends until sometime in college when he met his wife and I met Brian. We’ve sort of kept in touch, but since getting into serious relationships, it hasn’t been the same (as well it shouldn’t be). Jen and I actually lived for a time here in Peru together last year, but they ended up deciding to return to the States.
Now that I’ve given you a bunch of info you probably weren’t sure you wanted to know… I need to go get ready for my day before my computer dies. Have a lovely Thursday!